Naming Ceremonies are a wonderful reason to celebrate, and our Celebrant’s love being asked to take part!
London based Celebrant Holly Smith was delighted when we asked her to part and shares her experiences here.
Tell us a bit about your favourite Naming Ceremony and why it was your top choice.
My favourite ceremony took place in a beautiful family garden underneath blossoming trees. Guests sang Love Is In the Air as they passed Jago around for cuddles and kisses – he loved the attention! Afterwards guests toasted him with bottles of champagne kept back from Mum and Dad’s wedding when kids were merely an idea!
Have you had any unusual requests?
The beauty of working with a Celebrant is our flexibility and creativity so there are no requests too bizarre for me. I was once asked to do a wedding for two dogs but that’s a whole different story!
What has been the best reading or song used in one of your Naming Ceremonies?
I love poems and thought that “For My Daughter” by Sarah McMane was such a fabulous choice filled with advice and wishes for a strong, independent little lady.
Has the child always been well-behaved?!
Oh, certainly not! It’s a big day for small kids and understandably overwhelming when the attention is all on you. Sometimes kids want to run around and sometimes they want to sit quietly in the corner. My ceremonies are very relaxed affairs which means that there’s no pressure for children to be on their best behaviour, and I can usually project much louder than them anyway.
What are some top tips for parents organizing a ceremony?
My top tips are:
1. Choose a space where there is plenty of room for kids to move around. I recommend setting up a playmat with toys at the front to keep little ones entertained during the ceremony.
2. Create a lasting memory of the day by asking guests to write advice for your child in a guest book, share a favourite song for a playlist, or you could even plant a tree as part of the ceremony.
3. Choose a celebrant who will work with you to tell your family story and capture your wishes for your child’s future. There are no limits to what you can include.
Why do you think parents should have a Naming Ceremony for their child?
A Naming Ceremony is a wonderful way to mark the transition into family life, and all my families get a commemorative copy of their ceremony script as a memento to look back on as their child grows. But those early days of parenthood can also be exhausting so maybe a party is the last thing on your mind! In that case I suggest a Naming Ceremony is a lovely addition to a first birthday party, an opportunity for the parents to catch up with friends they might not have properly seen for a year, have a little fun and celebrate their child.